Feeders for Continuous Processing

Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Coperion K-Tron has added the K3-PH-ML-D4-QT35 design to the company’s K3-PH line of feeders for a variety of continuous processes, and will showcase the feeder at the 2017 ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo.

Coperion K-Tron, a part of Coperion’s Equipment & Systems division, has added the K3-PH-ML-D4-QT35 to the company’s K3-PH brand of feeders. The design is suited for multi-feeder clustering in a variety of continuous processes, including direct compression, continuous extrusion, wet and dry granulation, and continuous coating, as well as traditional batch processes. 

The design features a modular concept with a reduced overall footprint enabled by a smaller D4 platform scale, which uses the company’s Smart Force Transducer (SFT) weighing technology. The SFT single-wire weighing technology provides a weight signal with a resolution of 1:4,000,000 in 80 ms. The modular concept also features a drive using a servo motor, which helps reduce the overall footprint and offers a larger turndown range, including low feed rates. Electronic functions include linearization, temperature compensation, and a digital low-pass filter to reduce the effect of plant vibration. The digital design eliminates the need for calibration.

The design also allows for the exchange of feeder types and sizes, as well as hoppers or agitators, using the same scale and drive for fast adaptation to new processes and formulations. In addition, the feeder bowls and hoppers feature a seal design suited for product containment. The three available feeder types QT20, QT35, and QS60 are interchangeable depending on the product to be fed, the required feed rates, and the necessary scale resolution. The QT20 feeder has a trapezoid-scale shape and smaller footprint for multi-feeder clusters around a process inlet.

For a desired wash-in-place result, every unit has an integral two-degree pitch facilitating maximum drainage during the cleaning process. The concept provides for a cluster arrangement of six or more feeders to meet these requirements. The complete line of equipment is engineered to adhere to cGMP guidelines and standards, as well as the use of FDA-approved construction materials.

According to the company, the line of feeders includes proven instrumentation, controls, and design options for continuous feeding of difficult-flowing excipients and APIs. Depending on the application, the line can be outfitted with a variety of ancillary options. Additionally, the feeders are available in volumetric and gravimetric, single and twin-screw models.

Source: Coperion